Emotional Labor in the Gig Economy

Rosa Arriaga
Daier Yuan

Emotional labor (EL) is the process of managing one's feelings and outward expression in accordance with organizationally defined rules. Three types of emotional labor have been identified and can be stratified based on the display of emotion and the internal emotional state. In this study we interviewed Uber drivers to investigate their performance of emotional labor in the context of the positive affect that they are required to show. We found that drivers dynamically experienced the three types of emotional labor. We also found that various features of the Uber App mediate the performance of emotional labor. Finally, we present implications for future research and design implications that facilitate more positive and effective emotional labor in ridesharing services and the broader sharing economy. 


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